New Project: Tool to Estimate the Safety Impact of Vehicle Levels of Automation on Minnesota Roads

While commercially available self-driving vehicles may still be decades away, an increasing number of vehicles on the market offer advance driver assistance systems (ADAS). For example, ADAS features include adaptive cruise control, steering automation, and hands-free steering.

MnDOT and other transportation agencies are investigating the potential safety benefits vehicles with various levels of automation.


In a new study, University of Minnesota researchers will develop a methodology and tool that will allow planners and safety engineers to estimate the expected change in number of crashes by location and type given assumptions of market adoption of vehicles with different types of ADAS.

The proposed tool will utilize records of actual crashes in Minnesota combined with probabilistic models relating facts like vehicle model and age, driver age and other demographic information, with the potential of owning and having activated a specific combination of ADAS features as well as, given the prevailing road, traffic, and environmental conditions, the probability this particular ADAS changing the outcome of the event.

Cory Johnson, intelligent transportation systems manager, MnDOT Office of Traffic Engineering, summarized the project’s benefits: “The project will develop a planning tool to quantify the statewide net safety effect of policies, market and technology forces affecting the proliferation and actual use of individual ADAS.”

Project Details

  • Estimated Start Date: 10/01/2021
  • Estimated Completion Date: 03/31/2023
  • Funding: MnDOT & LRRB
  • Principal Investigator: John Hourdos
  • Technical Liaison: Cory Johnson

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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